Advocacy, Catholics Confront Global Poverty

Updates on Global Poverty Issues – Summer 2010

USCCB and CRS advocacy efforts to support Haiti recovery

USCCB and CRS are working to support Haiti’s recovery in a number of ways. Our advocacy efforts have focused on extending trade preferences; canceling Haiti’s debt; securing funding for emergency relief and reconstruction; and developing a policy framework for long-term reconstruction.

Natural Resources and our Catholic Response

Natural resources extraction


Immigration reform legislation must address “push” factors

The framework for immigration reform legislation recently unveiled by key Senators was called an ‘important first step’ in the process of achieving comprehensive reform legislation by Bishop Wester, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration and Bishop of Salt Lake City. The Bishop’s statement calls for ‘provisions which address “push” factors that compel migrants to come to the United States, such as the lack of economic development in sending countries, so that migrants can remain in their countries and support their families in dignity.’

The recent Arizona immigration law is an example of why enforcement-only measures are inhumane and do not work. It should serve as a clarion call to Congress for comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

Current climate change bill would provide the poor with too little too late

The oil that has been gushing in the Gulf of Mexico has brought climate change legislation back to the fore. Senators Kerry (D-MA) and Lieberman (I-CT) introduced their climate change bill in May. CRS and USCCB are very disappointed that it fails to assist the poorest countries around the world adapt to climate change. The proposed relief would come far too late-initial funding is not available until 2019-to assist countries already suffering from the impacts of climate change.

USCCB and CRS maintain that any climate legislation under consideration in the Senate must protect poor people in the United States and around the world, including sufficient funding for the poorest countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change. A number of alternative climate change bills have been proposed since the oil spill began. USCCB and CRS are assessing the impact they would have on the poor.

Supplemental funding is necessary to address global emergencies

International Assistance
The Catholic Church views international assistance as an essential tool to promote human life and dignity, advance solidarity with poorer nations, and enhance security throughout the world. International assistance is not simply an optional commitment; it is a moral responsibility to assist “the least of these” (Matthew 25). Our positions are also informed by our relationships with the Catholic Church in developing nations and CRS’ daily on-the-ground work in one hundred countries.

In order to strengthen the U.S. response to Haiti and continue to maintain the U.S. ability to cover humanitarian needs in other parts of the world, USCCB and CRS urge Congress to approve a robust Supplemental funding request as stated in letters to House and Senate appropriators. Such a request should include $2.5 billion for ongoing emergency relief and long-term reconstruction in Haiti, $580 million for international food aid and funding for Sudan in order to reduce the threat of violence there. While the House has already passed a FY2010 supplemental Appropriations bill, the Senate still needs to pass its bill that will then need to be reconciled. Contact your members of Congress and urge them to include critical humanitarian funding in the FY 2010 Supplemental Appropriations bill.

U.S. engagement is essential for preventing a return to war in Sudan

Conflict and Peace
The situation in Sudan is at a critical juncture. The recently held national election, border demarcation, referendum on secession, and the rising tide of violence in Southern Sudan have intensified an already volatile and dangerous environment. With a sense of urgency, CRS is expanding its efforts to promote peace in Sudan and to encourage the international community to help the people of Sudan prevent a return to war. In a recent letter to Secretary of State Clinton, Bishop Howard Hubbard, reiterated support for U.S. engagement in finding a peaceful resolution of the tensions. Urge President Obama to do everything he can to support a peaceful and stable Sudan.

Progress on the Roadmap to End Global Hunger

Global Hunger
Gains in reducing global hunger have been nearly wiped out in recent years by sharply increasing prices on some of the most basic foodstuffs in every region of the world, and by the current global economic crisis. Projections indicate that the global food price crisis will be long-term and that the impact on poor people in developing countries will be severe. Already, more than one billion people suffer from chronic hunger and more than 3.5 million children die from undernutrition each year.

CRS has joined a diverse coalition of international relief and development organizations to promote “The Roadmap to End Global Hunger,” a new comprehensive plan for the U.S. government to lead the international community in alleviating global hunger. The Roadmap to End Global Hunger addresses world hunger in the short, intermediate and long term and seeks to increase funding for key interventions needed to alleviate global hunger and ensure better coordination among existing U.S. government programs.

In response to the Roadmap to End Global Hunger, the United States Agency for International Development developed Feed the Future, a 3-year, $3.5 billion global hunger and food security initiative. CRS has been an active participant in shaping the program and will continue to advocate for civil society engagement so that those who are most affected by the program have a voice in its implementation.

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One Response to “Updates on Global Poverty Issues – Summer 2010”

  1. Essien Peter Says:

    what are the circumstances that influenced the teaching of the church on poverty?

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